International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 635

Full Length Research Paper

An ethno-veterinary survey of medicinal plants in woredas of Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia

Gebremedhin Gebrezgabiher1,2*, Shewit Kalayou2,3 and Samson Sahle2
  1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Semera University, Semera, Ethiopia. 2College of Veterinary Medicine, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia. 3Department of Production Animal Clinical Sciences, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo, Norway.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 January 2013
  •  Published: 28 February 2013


For generations, the use of ethno-veterinary practices to treat and control livestock diseases is an old practice in a large part of the world, particularly developing countries where animal health services are still very poor. This study was undertaken to document the ethno-veterinary medicinal plant knowledge of 115 purposively selected local farmers in Tanqua-Abergele and Kolla-Tembien woredas of Tigray region using a semi-structured interview, observation and field guided walk from October 2008 to April 2009. Specimens of plants that were used for treatment of livestock ailments were collected, coded and transported for taxonomic identification at Mekelle University and Addis Ababa University National Herbarium. The survey led to documentation of 29 medicinal plant species belonging to 23 various families. Achyranthes aspera L. (10.4%) Calpurinia aurea (Ait) Benth (9.6%), Nicotiana tabacum (9.6%) and Malva parviflora L. (7%) were the most frequently reported plant species. Herbs were the most widely used for the treatment of various ailments constituting the largest percentage (60%) followed by trees and shrubs with 24.3 and 15.7%, respectively. The study reveals that the local farmers of the study areas were with a wealth of knowledge of medicinal plants used to manage livestock health problems by harvesting the ones found in their vicinity. Further ethno-veterinary botanical surveys in these areas and other unexplored part of the region as well as the other regions of the country is advocated before most times, tested indigenous knowledge of the traditional herbalists passes away.


Key words: Medicinal plants, livestock, ailments, Tanqua-Abergele, Kolla-Tembien, Ethiopia.